I got caught out while giving a children's talk today. I thought I would follow standard procedure for a children's talk: have a prop. Today is Pentecost so I thought I would make a cake, put a candle on it, and talk about how Pentecost is the birthday of the church.
Into my stride in the talk I asked whose birthday it might be. "The Queen's" piped up an enterprising young lad. I was floored - momentarily - for indeed, this weekend is 'Queen's Birthday Weekend"*. The answer was 100% correct and 100% not the answer I was looking for! Well, somehow I worked around that (one good thing being, of course, that the adults thought this young boy's answer very funny, thus they were well engaged with the talk).
But it was a reminder about ministry - esp., perhaps, with children - that we must expect the unexpected and find ways to work with or around the unexpected!
*For overseas readers, Queen Elizabeth's real birthday is in April, but here in New Zealand we celebrate it with a public holiday on the first Monday in June.